– story takes place November 18, 2014 at 10 weeks.
The firsts of life fill the voids of dull days with excitement and anticipation. With a first pregnancy a whole new world of firsts opens before your eyes. Unlike experiencing your own firsts in childhood or all the firsts that come along with getting married, having a baby places you in the passenger seat of these first experiences. When your baby first kicks you it is your first experience feeling the kick but it is, in fact, the baby that dictated that moment, not you. I’m slowly realizing the only experience that puts a new mom in the driver’s seat, my only moment of remote control, in this process of growing life is the birth experience. Besides natural biology, it is your will that pushes your baby into the world – that baby doesn’t do a thing to help you. Then you get to watch your baby grow and experience the many firsts within their young life. Again you are in the passenger seat but, perhaps, more along the lines of a drivers ed teacher. So much of your child’s early life is dictated, inspired, and steered by your guidance and involvement but, ultimately, it is up to your baby to actually take those first steps and say those first words.
Dialing back into the world of pregnancy, I quickly discovered just how new my whole world would be. On top of carrying a new little life around with me everywhere I also started moving through a progression of pregnancy symptoms, my body started changing and I’ve been told it will never be the same again, and I suddenly have another person to factor in when making any decisions – short or long term. I feel like the moment I get a handle on taking care of one pregnancy symptom I suddenly graduate to the next pregnancy symptom. Going hand in hand with the symptoms is my sometimes visibly, sometimes not so visibly changing body. Early on in my pregnancy I remember my midwife telling me to pamper myself because my body was taking on enormous amounts of stress. I supposed she was right but didn’t remotely sense or understand how my tiny baby bump could cause such stress. Well, here I am a few months later and I completely get it. And then there’s the last puzzle piece, I don’t even have my baby in my arms and yet I have to plan my career out differently, I have to set travel plans considering my pregnant state, and I even have to look at my food and decide whether or not it’s a good choice for the baby.
All of these thoughts and concerns whizzed through my mind during the first trimester. My brain was a planet full of questions with no answers. Then I heard my baby’s heartbeat. I remember this moment in slow motion. I was lying on my back with my belly and too much of my lower territory exposed. The moment my midwife located the heart beat she handed the ear piece to me. I had a brief hold up before I accepted. In the back of my mind I had wanted Josh to hear the baby’s heartbeat first but in my stupor of excitement I couldn’t manage to decipher how to redirect this course of action so I simply took them and fumbled them onto my head. In the mere seconds I allowed myself to hear that precious beating before passing the ears over to Josh I felt my swelling mass of unknowns suddenly shrink into oblivion. The knowledge of the healthy little life within me was all I needed to mellow out. Suddenly and finally I had confirmation that my baby was safe and I was put at ease that if I didn’t do anything to harm our baby yet I could probably carry them safely through the rest of the pregnancy and into my eager arms.
Just as I was realizing my newfound peace I got to watch Josh’s face light up and hear him gasp in awe as he heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time.